Monday, September 24, 2012

False Prophecy and Real History in the Middle East

Here's a lengthy think-piece at The Nation by Norman Birnbaum on what's really going on with Netanyahu and the Pro-Zionists, both in Israel and in the United States:

Kabuki theater, with its extremely stylized dramaturgy, and the Yiddish stage, with its lachrymose realism, are rarely joined. The Democratic National Convention succeeded, however, in fusing the two. A platform insertion terming Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel was gaveled through by a visibly unhappy mayor of Los Angeles, reportedly at the insistence of the White House, which sought to silence Republican charges that the administration is disloyal to our unruly client state.
 Perhaps we should think instead of the Theater of the Absurd. The administration’s policy is like that of the governments that preceded it. The final status of Jerusalem is to be decided by Israel and Palestine if they conclude a peace treaty. It is almost certain, whoever wins the election, that our embassy will remain in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, the audible anger of many of the convention delegates nullified the reassuring effect the resolution was supposed to have on those voters for whom Israel’s delusions of omnipotence are their commands. Most are Republican biblical literalists, who believe that the coming of Israel portends the Last Judgment, the conversion of some Jews and the extirpation of the rest. The leaders of the Jewish organizations are remarkably tolerant of the theology of their fundamentalist allies. They are sure, after all, of their unconditional support for Israel—something that an increasing number of American Jews refuse. The Jewish organizations and their leaders become all the louder as their constituency shrinks. A majority of American Jews will vote as Americans, and some of the most self-consciously Jewish of them will do so for the sake of biblical values of social justice—which they find increasingly challenged in Israel. Meanwhile, events in the world reduce the political theater at the convention to its true dimensions, exceedingly small.
"Unruly client state", indeed. Netanyahu reminds me of that schoolyard bully who says, threateningly, "Let's you and him fight."

He wants so bad for the US to attack Iran that he's practically pissing his pants over it. Never mind the fact that a substantial portion of his own population is against it. We should watch ourselves that we don't get painted into a corner over this.

Unfortunately, if Romney is elected, all bets are off and we are much more likely to engage in that "preventative" first strike that our buddy Netty wants us to.